Dad had a nickname for everyone and everything – my sister, Liz was Squeeze Boo, I was Taddy bear, his truck was Old Blue and Mt. Shasta “the Queen”…. but Mom was always Mom and when he said Mother, you knew he was talking about Mother Nature, for whom he had a profoundly deep reverence, which he instilled in us.
Sunday, ‘Mother’ shared an incredible gift and I couldn’t help but think of Dad and all he gave us. As I do every morning, I looked out the window to see which birds were visiting the feeders and saw a flock of birds sitting on the fish bowl drinking. I assumed they were the Goldfinches (my morning eyes are a bit fuzzy) which come in huge flocks to feed, but never swarm the bird baths, and ran to get the camera. As I was taking the picture I was astonished to realize they were Cedar Waxwings! If I am lucky, every other year I will be in the right place at the right time to see a flock of them feasting on a berried bush. They are one of the most beautiful birds we have in the west and I’m overjoyed when I get to see them, so you can imagine my delight in having them in my back yard drinking. They sat in the Eastern Redbud for four hours, swooping down in mass to drink every twenty minutes or so. I was mesmerized.
I took dozens of pictures and was able to video their antics. They hover like a hummingbird for very short periods, dip, swoop and make beautiful sounds with the beating of their wings, calling in a soft trilled whistle. It was a sight that will never leave my memories – in all the chaos, Mother Nature still shares her bounty and beauty and gives us so many things for which to be grateful.